Modulatory effects of low-dose hydrogen peroxide on the function of human plasmacytoid dendritic cells

Kitti Pazmandi, Zoltan Magyarics, Istvan Boldogh, Aniko Csillag, Eva Rajnavolgyi, Attila Bacsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Under normal conditions, plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are located in peripheral lymphoid organs or circulate in the blood, from where they can migrate to sites of infection or inflammation. In inflamed tissues, pDCs can be exposed to elevated levels of reactive oxygen species produced by inflammatory cells and we presume that oxidative stress could affect the cellular responses of pDCs to microenvironmental stimuli. To explore this possibility, human pDCs isolated from peripheral blood of healthy donors were treated with H 2O 2 and R837 (a Toll-like receptor 7 ligand), separately and in combination. Our results demonstrate that treatment with a low concentration (0.01 μM) of H 2O 2 resulted in only slight changes in the expression of CD40, CD80, CD86, and CD83; however, low-dose H 2O 2 markedly decreased the expression of HLA-DQ on pDCs. Exposure to H 2O 2 did not trigger the release of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-8, or IFN-α from pDCs. Although addition of H 2O 2 did not modify the capacity of pDCs to activate allogeneic IL-17- or IFN-γ-producing T cells, it significantly increased the ability of pDCs to stimulate IL-4-secreting T cells. Exposure of pDCs to H 2O 2 before cocultivation with naïve autologous T cells significantly lowered IL-10 production by T cells, but did not affect IL-17 release. It was also observed that H 2O 2-exposed pDCs provided stronger stimuli for Th2 than for Th1 differentiation upon autologous activation, compared to untreated pDCs, possibly because of elevated surface expression of OX40-L. Most importantly, when pDCs were stimulated with R837 in the presence of H 2O 2, decreased phenotypic activation, decreased chemokine and cytokine release, and impaired allo- and autostimulatory functions of pDCs were detected, indicating that pDCs exposed to oxidative stress in vivo may have an anti-inflammatory or tolerogenic role in regulating adaptive immune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-645
Number of pages11
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


  • Free radicals
  • Immune regulation
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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